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Kenneth Hibbard

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Dragonfly Mission/Project Systems Engineer
  • Master of Science, Systems Engineering & Technical Management
    2009, Johns Hopkins University
  • Bachelor of Science, Aerospace Engineering
    1996, The Pennsylvania State University

An experienced project systems engineer and proven leader, who contributes to exploration of the solar system and safeguarding of America. I have an extensive background (>24 years) in the full life-cycle of space mission development and implementation; served as a mission systems engineer (MSE), as well as operations teams’ technical lead and deputy manager. Managed contract task orders, including personnel, resources, and costs. Provided services include technical oversight, anomaly resolution, customer interface, structured and on-the-job training, and proposal management and writing. I also have technical expertise with nuclear power, as well as entry, descent, and landing (EDL) systems and technologies.

Currently working as the Dragonfly Mission Systems Engineer. In the past I served as the Space Systems Engineering (SAS) Group Supervisor and as the Deputy New Programs Development Manager for Civil Space, where I supported Space Sector strategic planning, mission implementation, and general management.

I have been involved with the development, integration, testing, launch, and orbit operations of multiple flight projects including the ACE, SOHO, Swift, and MESSENGER. Previous positions include serving as the Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) concept study MSE, Space-Layer Experiment (SLX) MSE, Deputy MSE for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, as well as DMSE for Implementation for the Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS).

Notable Awards and Leadership

Year(s) Description
2015-2019 Surrogate Mission Team Lead, named role within the NASA Radioisotope Power Systems Program Office. Led the Surrogate Mission Team (SMT), a group that represents NASA flight implementation organizations (specifically APL, JPL, and GSFC) and potential missions, in support of dynamic power technology and radioisotope power system (RPS) development. Reported directly to the RPS Program Office located at NASA-GRC.
2013-2018 Invited member of the Heatshield for Extreme Entry Environments Technology (HEEET) Independent Review Board (IRB)
2018 Bumblebee Award - Dragonfly Titan Mission Concept , Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), Championing Revolutionary Capabilities
2018 Walter G. Berl Award - Outstanding Paper in the Johns Hopkins APL Tech Digest, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), Awarded for the paper Dragonfly: A Rotorcraft Lander Concept for Scientific Exploration of Titan.
2016 R.W. Hart Prize for Best Development Project, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), Best Development Project: Atmosphere Entry and Descent Technology and Analysis for Design, Principal Investigator
2012 Laurels for Team Achievement, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), For MESSSENGER
2008 Group Achievement Award, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), MESSENGER Mission Team
2003 Laurels for Team Achievement, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Team
2002 HTSI FCSG Team of the Year, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), SOHO Flight Operations Team
2000 Innovator Award, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), SOHO Training Team
2000 Group Achievement Award, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), SOHO Gyroless Recovery Team
2000 Center of Excellence Award, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), SOHO Gyroless Operations
1998 Group Achievement Award, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE)
1998 Outstanding Contribution Award, European Space Agency (ESA)
1998 Appreciation Award, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), SOHO Recovery and Recertification

Scholarly Publications

Identifying and Mitigating Barriers to the Adoption of Dynamic Radioisotope Power Systems for Space Flight

2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2019
E. Scott Brummel and Paul Ostdiek and Dave Woerner and Kenneth Hibbard and Ellen Stofan and June Zakrajsek and Mary L. Cummings, (2019), Identifying and Mitigating Barriers to the Adoption of Dynamic Radioisotope Power Systems for Space Flight, 2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference, https://doi.org/10.1109/aero.2019.8742171

Developing an Entry Guidance and Control Design Capability Using Flaps for the Lifting Nano-ADEPT

AIAA Aviation 2019 Forum, 2019
Sarah N. D'Souza and Wendy Okolo and Ben Nikaido and Bryan Yount and Jason Tran and Benjamin Margolis and Brandon Smith and Alan Cassell and Breanna Johnson and Kenneth Hibbard and Jeffrey Barton and Zane Hays, (2019), Developing an Entry Guidance and Control Design Capability Using Flaps for the Lifting Nano-ADEPT, AIAA Aviation 2019 Forum, https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2019-2901

Exploring Titan Using Virtual Reality with Data from the Dragonfly Mission

4th Planetary Data Workshop, 2019
, (2019), Exploring Titan Using Virtual Reality with Data from the Dragonfly Mission, 4th Planetary Data Workshop

Dragonfly: In situ Terrain Relative Navigation for Titan Surface Exploration

16th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW), 2019
, (2019), Dragonfly: In situ Terrain Relative Navigation for Titan Surface Exploration, 16th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW)

Dragonfly: Modeling, Testing, and Validation for Atmospheric Flight on Titan

16th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW), 2019
, (2019), Dragonfly: Modeling, Testing, and Validation for Atmospheric Flight on Titan, 16th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW)

Dragonfly: A rotorcraft lander concept for scientific exploration at titan

Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest (Applied Physics Laboratory), 2018
R.D. Lorenz, E.P. Turtle, J.W. Barnes, M.G. Trainer, D.S. Adams, K.E. Hibbard, C.Z. Sheldon, K. Zacny, P.N. Peplowski, D.J. Lawrence, M.A. Ravine, T.G. McGee, K.S. Sotzen, S.M. MacKenzie, J.W. Langelaan, S. Schmitz, L.S. Wolfarth, P.D. Bedini, (2018), Dragonfly: A rotorcraft lander concept for scientific exploration at titan, Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest (Applied Physics Laboratory), 34, 3, 374-387

Dragonfly: In Situ Exploration of Titan’s Organic Chemistry and Habitability

49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 2018
, (2018), Dragonfly: In Situ Exploration of Titan’s Organic Chemistry and Habitability, 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Dragonfly: Navigating Titan's Surface

15th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW), 2018
, (2018), Dragonfly: Navigating Titan's Surface, 15th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW)

Dragonfly: Rotorcraft Landing on Titan

15th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW), 2018
, (2018), Dragonfly: Rotorcraft Landing on Titan, 15th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW)

ADEPT, A Mechanically Deployable Re-Entry Vehicle System, Enabling Interplanetary CubeSat and Small Satellite Missions

32nd Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, 2018
, (2018), ADEPT, A Mechanically Deployable Re-Entry Vehicle System, Enabling Interplanetary CubeSat and Small Satellite Missions, 32nd Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites

Guidance, navigation, and control for exploration of titan with the dragonfly rotorcraft lander

AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, 2018, 2018
T.G. McGee, D.S. Adams, K.E. Hibbard, E.P. Turtle, R.D. Lorenz, F. Amzajerdian, J.W. Langelaan, (2018), Guidance, navigation, and control for exploration of titan with the dragonfly rotorcraft lander, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, 2018, 210039

Systems engineering (from the perspective of a project manager)

Aerospace Project Management Handbook, 2017
K.E. Hibbard, (2017), Systems engineering (from the perspective of a project manager), Aerospace Project Management Handbook, 151-178

Asteroid impact & deflection assessment: Double asteroid redirection test

Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC, 2017
Cheng, A.F. and Atchison, J.A. and Hibbard, K.E. and Kantsiper, B.L. and Reed, C.L.B. and Rivkin, A.S., (2017), Asteroid impact & deflection assessment: Double asteroid redirection test, Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC, 5, 2916-2920

Real-Time In Situ Landing Site Assessment

Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop, 2017
Adams, D. and Hibbard, K. and McGee, T., (2017), Real-Time In Situ Landing Site Assessment, Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop, 1989, 8248

Dragonfly: A Rotorcraft Lander to Enable Titan Exploration

14th International Planetary Probe Workshop, 2017
, (2017), Dragonfly: A Rotorcraft Lander to Enable Titan Exploration, 14th International Planetary Probe Workshop

Stirling to flight initiative

2016 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2016
Kenneth E. Hibbard and Lee S. Mason and Obi Ndu and Clay Smith and James P. Withrow, (2016), Stirling to flight initiative, 2016 IEEE Aerospace Conference, https://doi.org/10.1109/aero.2016.7500818

Instrumented splashdown testing of a scale model Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) capsule

Aeronautical Journal, 2015
R.D. Lorenz, K. Hibbard, M.V. Paul, J. Walsh, D.W. Olds, S. Willits, E.B. Bierhaus, W.E. Kretsch, (2015), Instrumented splashdown testing of a scale model Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) capsule, Aeronautical Journal, 119, 1214, 409-431

Io Volcano Observer (IVO): Budget travel to the outer Solar System

Acta Astronautica, 2014
Alfred McEwen and Elizabeth Turtle and Kenneth Hibbard and Edward Reynolds and Elena Adams, (2014), Io Volcano Observer (IVO): Budget travel to the outer Solar System, Acta Astronautica, 93, 539--544, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2012.05.028

Aerobraking at Venus: A science and technology enabler

Acta Astronautica, 2012
Kenneth Hibbard and Lori Glaze and Jill Prince, (2012), Aerobraking at Venus: A science and technology enabler, Acta Astronautica, 73, 137--143, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.11.008

Io Volcano Observer's (IVO) integrated approach to optimizing system design for radiation challenges

IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 2012
E. Adams, K. Hibbard, E. Turtle, E. Reynolds, B. Anderson, C. Paranicas, G. Rogers, J. McAdams, D. Roth, P. Christensen, A. McEwen, M. Wieser, N. Thomas, P. Wurz, J. Janesick, (2012), Io Volcano Observer's (IVO) integrated approach to optimizing system design for radiation challenges, IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings

Mission design and systems architectures for a Venus orbiter and entry probe

AIAA SPACE Conference and Exposition 2012, 2012
M.T. Ozimek, C.J. Scott, E.Y. Adams, K.E. Hibbard, T.J. Magner, (2012), Mission design and systems architectures for a Venus orbiter and entry probe, AIAA SPACE Conference and Exposition 2012

The APL Concurrent Engineering Laboratory: A unique approach to concept development

AIAA SPACE Conference and Exposition 2012, 2012
D.F. Kelly, K.E. Hibbard, (2012), The APL Concurrent Engineering Laboratory: A unique approach to concept development, AIAA SPACE Conference and Exposition 2012

Target NEO: Open Global Community NEO Workshop Report

George Washington University, 2011
, (2011), Target NEO: Open Global Community NEO Workshop Report, George Washington University

A Space-Based Near-Earth Object Survey Telescope in Support of Human Exploration, Solar System Science, and Planetary Defense

2011 IAA Planetary Defense Conference, 2011
P. Abell, (2011), A Space-Based Near-Earth Object Survey Telescope in Support of Human Exploration, Solar System Science, and Planetary Defense

A simplified, low risk strategy for the exploration of near-earth objects

62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011, 2011
R. Landis, B. Barbee, R. Mink, J. Garvin, P. Sellers, P.A. Bell, S. Mauzy, L. Graham, D. Adamo, D. Mazanek, C. Reed, A. Cheng, A. Rivkin, R. Gold, K. Hibbard, R. Dissly, T. Jones, L. Johnson, W. Gerstenmaier, (2011), A simplified, low risk strategy for the exploration of near-earth objects, 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011, 3, 1776-1786

Exploring Europa: Science from the Jupiter Europa Orbiter-a future outer planet flagship Mission

Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest (Applied Physics Laboratory), 2011
L.M. Prockter, K.E. Hibbard, T.J. Magner, J.D. Boldt, (2011), Exploring Europa: Science from the Jupiter Europa Orbiter-a future outer planet flagship Mission, Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest (Applied Physics Laboratory), 30, 1, 72-84

Near-Earth Survey Telescope (NEST): A Robotic Precursor Concept to Enable Human Exploration of Near-Earth Objects

9th IAA Low-Cost Planetary Missions Conference, 2011
, (2011), Near-Earth Survey Telescope (NEST): A Robotic Precursor Concept to Enable Human Exploration of Near-Earth Objects, 9th IAA Low-Cost Planetary Missions Conference

APL Concurrent Engineering (ACE) Conceptual Design Approach

9th IAA Low-Cost Planetary Missions Conference, 2011
, (2011), APL Concurrent Engineering (ACE) Conceptual Design Approach, 9th IAA Low-Cost Planetary Missions Conference

Trojan Asteroid Tour Mission Concepts on a New Frontiers Budget

9th IAA Low-Cost Planetary Missions Conference, 2011
, (2011), Trojan Asteroid Tour Mission Concepts on a New Frontiers Budget, 9th IAA Low-Cost Planetary Missions Conference

MESSENGER Power and Thermal System Operations

SpaceOps 2010 Conference, 2010
Kimberly Ord and Kenneth Hibbard, (2010), MESSENGER Power and Thermal System Operations, SpaceOps 2010 Conference, https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2010-2137

Building operability into the Jupiter Europa Orbiter design to endure a high radiation environment

2010 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2010
Robert Lock and Kenneth Hibbard and Robert Rasmussen and Karla Clark and Thomas Magner and Robert Pappalardo and Melissa A. Jones, (2010), Building operability into the Jupiter Europa Orbiter design to endure a high radiation environment, 2010 IEEE Aerospace Conference, https://doi.org/10.1109/aero.2010.5446976

Trojan tour mission concepts provide several options for cost-effective break-through science

JBIS - Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 2010
K. Hibbard, R. Gold, J. Dankanich, A. Rivkin, M. Schwinger, H. Seifert, (2010), Trojan tour mission concepts provide several options for cost-effective break-through science, JBIS - Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 63, 9-10, 351-356

Outer Planets Operations Lessons Learned

AIAA SPACE 2009 Conference & Exposition, 2009
Mark Holdridge and Robert Lock and Grace Tan-Wang and Kenneth Hibbard and Ben Jai and Greg Welz and Nickalaus Pinkine and Mike Shafto and David Artis, (2009), Outer Planets Operations Lessons Learned, AIAA SPACE 2009 Conference & Exposition, https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2009-6417

Standards of Conduct for Space Mission Operations

AIAA SPACE 2007 Conference & Exposition, 2007
Mark Holdridge and Raymond Harvey and Kenneth Hibbard, (2007), Standards of Conduct for Space Mission Operations, AIAA SPACE 2007 Conference & Exposition, https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2007-6113